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Hells YES we celebrate the Fourth in this house

And the Queen’s birthday and Squirrel Appreciation Day and Talk Like a Pirate Day. If there’s a celebration — particularly one that involves food, booze or fireworks — I’m yer weasel. (Image pinched from previous Fourth).

Just occurred to me. If I get my act together this year, this might be the last Fourth of July I ain’t British. OH NOES!

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

July 4, 2017 — 10:20 pm
Comments: 13

I found a loophole, said Weasel!

twee

Our Christmas tree. Yeah, it always looks lame in black and white, but I give it a try every year. Trust me, it was lovely.

I know some people take the tree down the minute Christmas is over, but that’s definitely not us. We usually aim for Twelfth Night, because it’s traditional and we’re like that, but January 5th (or is it the 6th?) just seemed too soon. The tree was still lovely, hadn’t dropped a needle, and we weren’t quite ready to wave g’bye to Christmas.

But the other traditional day is Candlemas (did I mention we’re traditional?). But that’s February 2nd, and that just seemed way too long, even for big crybabies like us.

Then I found a loophole – Old Twelvey Night! This is where Twelfth Night fell before adoption of the Gregorian Calendar and some hearty Brits still observe it. Because pff – that was just, like, 1582.

I love these people.

It’s tonight — the 17th of January. We’re going to take our tree down and do it right. Bottle of fizz, a nice steak dinner. I’m not going in in the morning so we can sleep in. Try to hold onto the true meaning of Old Twelvey Night. Which is steak and champagne, I guess. I don’t know. You can just make this shit up if you want.

Wishing you a very merry Old Twelvey Night, from our household to yours!

January 17, 2017 — 8:57 pm
Comments: 11

Turkeys: the paste-eating mouth breathers of the poultry world

turkeys

I stole this picture from National Geographic. At first, I couldn’t work out what it was. Some sort of two-headed conjoined twin turkey maybe. But no, it’s just a pair of Meleagris gallopavo being they own brilliant selfs.

I’ll be honest with you — I think our turkey this year had a leeeetle too much fresh air and healthful exercise. She was tough-ish. More indolence and lounging around the barn for the next one, I think.

Anyway, I’ve boiled down the carcass and made a pie for tonight. A bit of soup tomorrow, and that’s the bird done.

On to the ham!

December 28, 2016 — 11:07 pm
Comments: 14

Happy Boxing Day!

boxinggloves

All these years in the UK, I still haven’t worked out WTF that means.

We had a lovely Christmas: tons of lovely loot, heaps of lovely food. That social butterfly of a free-range turkey was delicious, though her legs reflected a toughness born of all the exercise she got running around gossiping with her turkey friends in flowery meadows. The cats get that part.

I still haven’t recovered my stamina, though, so I won’t linger. Santa prescribes indolence and reading of books.

Hope yours was as nice as ours!

December 26, 2016 — 10:31 pm
Comments: 16

Turkey ’bout done

turkey

When I went picture shopping, the caption to the Obama image was like “The President sheds a tear over…” and I didn’t even click the link to find out “over what.” I had a frisson of delight thinking — oh, I know. President Trump will let us down in a thousand ways — but it will surely be a long, long time before we see a president boo-hoo in public over anything again.

I haven’t forgotten — Leaky George Bush started it. And let’s not think about John Boehner.

Hope your turkey was de-lightful. Ours isn’t done yet — we do Thanksgiving as a midnight meal. With champagne. It’s a tradition. Hey, you move to a foreign country, you get to make all this ancient traditional shit up.

That’s a few hours yet, so I’m just boiling the sweet patooties (preparatory to candying) and pre-soaking the dressing. In butter. Last of the imported Pepperidge Farm. Man, I love this holiday.

p.s. We are totally stoked — we just heard a real, live owl going HOO HOO HOOOOOO in the back garden!

p.p.s. Oh, yeah – and I arrived in the UK for keeps Thanksgiving 2008. Eight years of limey goodness. T’day was the 27th that year — the 24th, the movers came and sucked all my worldly goods out the front door. May I never witness such a thing again!

November 24, 2016 — 9:03 pm
Comments: 18

Here we go!

thanksgiving

We’ve just got back from buying an obscene amount of food for tomorrow. The best part is, what does he know from Thanksgiving? I can tell him, “oh, yeah, dude — gin and red velvet cupcakes are totally part of a traditional Turkey Day celebration.”

Brits don’t celebrate Thanksgiving (duh), but they are aware of it and they try to show willing. I’m often asked if, like, they should buy me a card or something. I’m going in for a bit tomorrow, but taking Friday to accommodate the tryptophan coma.

So who and what are you having tomorrow?

November 23, 2016 — 9:48 pm
Comments: 20

Boo!

carvingset

Carving pumpkins is one of those things I think I should be good at, because arty. Crosswords is another, because wordy. In truth, I suck at both.

So Uncle B buyed me this nifty pumpkin carving toolkit last week. Did it help? Meh.

Here’s a proper link for the day: Ten Spooky Archaeological Finds. (Ancient Origins is a better website than it looks. I find interesting stuff there and, when in doubt, I cross reference it to more boring sites).

Happy Halloween! (Shoot, I should be doing an invoice tonight).

October 31, 2016 — 8:55 pm
Comments: 19

Freeeeeedommmmmmm!

woodpecker

Happy Independence Day, my fellow liberated colonials. Which I guess includes my British neighbors now.

Early afternoon was lovely here, which makes a great change (we’ve had the most miserably cold, gray Summer so far). We sat in the garden with a couple of books and a bottle of wine and grilled burgers and corn on the cob and hummed Stars and Stripes Forever.

And then fell asleep, because wine, and had terrible dreams, because sleeping in the daytime.

Hope you had a wonderful Fourth. I’ve vicariously enjoyed the parades in my FaceBook feed today.

You remember that pic, of course, Weasel Attempts to Murder Woodpecker. From the header of the photographer’s Twitter feed, it looks like someone made him a ceramic one.

sock it to me

July 4, 2016 — 9:54 pm
Comments: 5

Happy Sussex Day!

sussexday

martlet

Don’t worry. Nobody here ever heard of it, either. I’ve had a good time today wishing people a Happy Sussex Day and getting that ‘dog hears hypersonic whistle’ look.

Well, the Sussex Police did post a lovely video, though I have no idea why they chose All Things Bright and Beautiful instead of the unofficial county song, Sussex by the Sea.

Go on, give it a listen. It’s a cheery march and a catchy tune. Brass bands play it at some of the fêtes and festivals (the ones that have brass bands).

I heard it played at a funeral once.

Sussex Day was invented in 2007 to celebrate the awesomness that is Sussex. Among the suggested celebrations, reading aloud the Sussex charter:

For all the people of the ancient kingdom of Sussex!
Let it be known: the 16 June of each and every year shall be known as Sussex Day.
Sussex day shall be celebrated according to the rites and traditions of Sussex.
Let it be known all the people of Sussex shall be responsible for the maintenance of those boundaries that join to those of our neighbours.
Let it be known all the people of Sussex shall be responsible for all the environs within those boundaries.
Let it be known, the people of Sussex shall recognise the inshore waters that lie inside a line drawn from Beachy Head, and extending to Selsey Bill as being, the Bay of Sussex.
Let it be known, the people of Sussex will undertake responsibility for the general well being of our neighbours.
Let it be known the people of Sussex shall be guardians of our wildlife.
Let it be known the people of Sussex will, through custom support all local business.
Finally, let it be known, as guardians of Sussex, we all know Sussex is Sussex … and Sussex won’t be druv!
In God we trust.
God Save the Queen!

We Wunt Be Druv — I love that — is the unoffical motto of Sussex. It doesn’t appear in print until the early 20th C, though it was described as a favorite motto. It probably originates in the Weald of Sussex, where also originated the two major revolts of the Middle Ages: Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, under Wat Tyler, and 1450 under Jack Cade.

rampion

The county flower is the round-headed rampion. I have never seen one; it’s a weird-looking thing. I think Dr Seuss had a hand in the design.

The crest and flag of the county feature six martlets, which is the heraldic version of either a swallow or a house martin. Ehhh…technically, it’s an emblem, not a coat of arms, as arms can only be granted to an administrative body (not a whole county) and Sussex hasn’t had a united one since the Domesday Book.

The martlet also appears on the arms of the fourth son of a noble family, as the martlet has no feet (only feathers) and so cannot land, and the fourth son hasn’t any land either. That doesn’t have anything to do with Sussex, I just thought it was a fun heraldic pun.

The 16th of June was chosen because it is the feast of Richard of Chichester (1197–1253), patron saint of Sussex. His shrine was once regarded as a place of miracles, almost as popular as the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury, but mad King Henry VIII ordered it plundered.

We’re going to celebrate Sussex Day by playing a boules match against those rotten stinking foreign bastards, The Next Village Over. See you tomorrow.


sock it to me

June 16, 2016 — 8:00 pm
Comments: 12

Happy St Paddy’s Day, peeps!

shamrocks

I didn’t think I had any Irish ancestry at all, but then I spent a couple of weeks digging around in ancestry.co.uk and found a branch of the family that set sail from Ireland. So probably there go the Irish jokes.

On a happier note, my French great-grandfather wasn’t. He had a French-sounding name (in the most common spelling) but I never managed to find any of his line outside Texas. So, French jokes back in the repertoire.

I managed to get the main branches of my family back to the 18th C (when they emigrated — early adopters, us). But grandpa French-sounding-name’s line petered out in the Nineteenth. With somebody in a Texas Home for Imbeciles.

Yee-haw and pass the green beer!


ADDENDUM: Carl wins the Dead Pool with magician Paul Daniels. I had no idea who he was, but Uncle B tells me he was super famous, so it’s a fair win. I think we have enough time to queue up another one for tomorrow, yes? Meet me here at 6 for Dead Pool Round 84! (Notez bien: Weasel Blog Time is the same as GMT — it doesn’t take any notice of the clock change).

sock it to me

March 17, 2016 — 9:48 pm
Comments: 9